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St. John Fisher College to Celebrate 58th Commencement May 5; Doris Kearns Goodwin to be Keynote Speaker


St. John Fisher College to Celebrate 58th Commencement May 5; Doris Kearns Goodwin to be Keynote Speaker

St. John Fisher College will graduate over 1,100 students at its 58th Commencement on Saturday, May 5, 2012. There will be two ceremonies, one at 9:30 a.m. for over 700 undergraduates, and the second at 2:00 p.m. for over 450 master’s and doctoral students. Both ceremonies will take place at the Blue Cross Arena, One War Memorial Drive, in Rochester.

The keynote speaker at the morning ceremony will be world-renowned historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin. The College will also bestow an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws upon Goodwin during the ceremony.

Goodwin received her bachelor of arts degree from Colby College, and went on to pursue her Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, where she also taught a course in the American Presidency. Following her tenure at Harvard, she served as an assistant to Lyndon Johnson in his last year in the White House. She later assisted Johnson in the preparation of his memoirs.

She has been reporting on politics and baseball for over two decades, is the author of several books, and has written for leading national publications. She appears regularly on network television programs, and was an on-air consultant for PBS documentaries on Johnson, the Kennedy Family, Franklin Roosevelt, and Ken Burns’ The History of Baseball. In addition, Goodwin was the first female journalist to ever enter the Red Sox locker room.

In 1976, she authored Lyndon Johnson & The American Dream, which became a New York Times bestseller. She followed up in 1987 with the political biography, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, which stayed on the New York Times Bestsellers List for five months. In 1990, it was made into a six-hour ABC miniseries. Her next book, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Home Front During World War II, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1995, as well as the Harold Washington Literary Award, the New England Bookseller Association Award, the Ambassador Book Award, and the Washington Monthly Book Award. Additionally, it was a New York Times bestseller for six months.

Her most recent work, a monumental history of Abraham Lincoln entitled, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, joined the bestseller lists in its first week of publication, reaching #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers List. It won the 2006 Lincoln Prize for outstanding work about the president, the New York Historical Society Book Prize, the Richard Nelson Current Award, and the New York State Archives History Makers Award. Hollywood director Stephen Spielberg is currently developing a feature film about the book, and award-winning playwright, Tony Kushner, is writing the screenplay. Goodwin is currently working on a new book about the progressive era, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, and the golden age of journalism.

The keynote speaker for the afternoon ceremony will be Dr. David Martin, Dean of the College’s Ronald L. Bittner School of Business.

Dr. Donald Bain, President, will present the President’s Medal for Service to the Rochester Community to David Klein, CEO of Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield at the morning ceremony. During the afternoon ceremony, he will present Frederic Skalny, Community Philanthropist, with the President’s Medal for Service to St. John Fisher College and the Rochester Community.

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